City Mayor Sara Duterte assured that psychotic vagrants roaming the city will soon be sheltered as the city is now establishing a mental wellness center.
In an interview with city-operated radio station DCDR (87.5-FM) on Wednesday, Duterte said they have started the process for the center after the City Council approval the establishment on Tuesday.
“There are many of them already, walking around the city unattended and left untreated. We just can’t let them be like that always, they needed to be sent to our mental wellness center,” Duterte said.
The mental wellness center, or the halfway house to cater to these vagrants that will also serve as their processing center, will be established to help them be fostered while treated with medication and rehabilitation. The city’s mental hospital, the Southern Medical Philippines Center Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Medicine (SPMC-IPBM), can’t cater them since these vagrants don’t have relatives or guardians with them. It is a requirement for SPMC-IPBM to have someone as guardians to attend to these mentally challenged people. The SPMC-IBM is operated by the national government.
Duterte said that most of these mentally-ill vagrants came from far-flung neighboring areas of the city.
“Many of them have come to the city, and most of them do not reside here, but from far-flung areas in which they were sent here because they do not have enough facilities to attend to their needs,” she said.
The mayor said these mentally-ill people are sent to the farthest bus destination. She said these places where the mentally-ill people came considered the city as the “farthest destination.”
There are also insufficient doctors in those areas who can attend to their needs.
The mental wellness center will be divided into two parts.
The one for the mentally-ill vagrants who do not have any relatives in the city will be established inside the SPMC-IBM compound.
The other part is an outpatient counseling center that will provide free counseling to patients with depression and anxiety.
Duterte said the separate outpatient center still needs an area because having it inside the SPMC-IPBM compound would only worsen the stigma as it will not bring any positive energy.
The city aims to establish the center within this year.
Duterte said the deed of usufruct of the center is being processed.